and there's a west wind coming in
and there's an east wind coming in
and there's a strong wind blowing in from the south
and there's a sweet metallic taste in my mouth
there's a dead feeling lingering over the wind
and there's a one-way ticket
in my hot little hand
and I'm kissing your eyelids
and I'm going to Japan
We've got a first pass at an itinerary, and it looks about like this:
- 8:40 a.m. tomorrow: our flight leaves Atlanta, stops briefly in Houston, then continues on overnight to...
- ...Narita at 2:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday, April 1.
- We'll get our bearings, pick up the works-in-Japan cell phone I rented1, exchange our rail pass vouchers for awesome all-inclusive 7-day rail passes, get our bags, and jump on the Narita Express to Tokyo Station.
- From Tokyo, we'll take the shinkansen up one stop (which takes about a nanosecond, right?) to Ueno Station, which is right next to Ueno Park where we can admire the cherry blossoms and grab a snack.
- At 7:03 p.m. local time, we'll get on the Cassiopeia train headed north to Sapporo overnight. We'll be on the train for, um, sixteen and a half hours.
- At 11:15 a.m. the following morning, Wednesday, we'll meet Roy royhuggins and Electra eliciel at Sapporo Station! We'll come bearing Amurrican things for Roy, Electra, and Sarina: Stumptown coffee, Tillamook cheese, hair extensions (imported to Portland from Korea, and now we're bringing them back across the ocean for Sarina), Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap, chocolates, Reese's Pieces, deodorant, deodorant, and deodorant.
- We'll hang out in Sapporo for four days and three nights at Roy and Electra's place. We'll...have adventures. We'll...try to find vegetarian food. We'll try to go to an onsen.
- At 5:12 p.m. on Saturday the 5th, we'll hop on the Limited Express Hokutosei back south to Tokyo. We'll arrive in Tokyo sometime in the morning on Sunday and continue on to Kyoto via some train or other. We'll walk around admiring really old temples and stuff, and at some point we'll find a place to sleep.
- On Monday the 7th, we'll head back into Tokyo and have lunch with Alex's friend Toliver at Google Tokyo. Maybe some other adventuring, Tokyo-style, and then find a place to sleep.
- On Tuesday the 8th, we'll make our way back to Narita and get on the plane home at 3:55 p.m.
Um. No idea where we're staying in Kyoto or Tokyo. This should probably get handled at some point.
I'm really excited -- I managed to rig my luggage situation so that we don't have to bring my big rolling hi-I'm-a-tourist suitcase. I'm expanding my Big Black Bag to its maximum expandability and puttin' all my stuff in there and in the laptop bag. Arriving at Narita with luggage that you can carry down the street with you is cyberpunk. In fact, I think the only way this trip could get more cyberpunk would be if the KGB were surveilling us. And I'm not saying they're not.
- Should you need to contact me in an emergency, here's how to call my Japan cell phone from the US: 011-81-905-969-8496.